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Strategic Interview Questions to Ask Candidates in a Tiebreak

  • 19th Dec'22

Sometimes you find that top candidates are tied after evaluating them to extend an offer of employment. Occasionally, two prospects will perform really well on your pre-employment testing. One has greater professional experience, while the other is a soft-skills rock star. They might both have likewise aced your initial interview and breezed through your behavioral evaluations.


Imagine, however, that all of your applicant scorecards, hard talent evaluations, and personality inventories indicate a tiebreak. So that you can choose the best candidate for the job, it's time to utilize your heavy artillery: strategic interview questions


It's time to fill that position on your team, and you're under pressure to locate a job applicant who possesses all the qualifications and work experience you require. But can you tell all of that from a single interview? If you ask the right questions, it is feasible.


Whether you're conducting an interview over the phone or in person, you must be well-prepared. You should question candidates in order to determine their level of interest in the position and the organization, learn more about their work history and future goals, gain insight into their values and work habits, and learn more about their knowledge, abilities, and strengths.


Of course, you'll also want to inquire about details unique to the position you're seeking. Other interview question styles, like open-ended and close-ended inquiries, can also be used to delve deeper.


But with the help of these interview questions, you ought to be able to determine whether the prospective employee has what it takes to succeed on your team. So let's get started by listing 14 of the best interview questions to ask and explaining why.



1. What professional achievement are you most proud of?


Employing a person who can perform the job properly is crucial, but you also want someone who takes pride in their work. By asking the candidate to discuss their favorite professional achievement, you give them a chance to highlight their career, but you also gain a better understanding of the kind of work that makes them happy and may decide whether it's compatible with the requirements of the position.


2. Please share a fact about yourself that is not included in your CV.


Job candidates meticulously write their resumes to give the finest overview of their professional experience, but what they put down on paper does not reveal all about them. This intentionally broad question gives the candidate the option of sharing a job-related story or not. They might decide to talk to you about their time spent volunteering, their extended trip around the world, or another memorable event.


You may learn a lot about the kind of employee they will be based on how they choose to answer this question and the story they choose to tell.


3. What makes you want to work here?


You can use this question to find out how much the applicant has looked into the business and to learn more about what they are searching for in employment. When posing this query, pay close attention to information about your organization and any connections the candidate makes between your business and their professional goals.


4. What motivated you to apply for this job?


Because it goes into detail on the job role, this is one of the greatest interview questions to employ. It demonstrates how thoroughly the applicant studied the job description and provides an opportunity for them to explain why they think they would be a good fit. A well-written response will discuss both the applicant's current skills and any skills they hope to hone or improve.


5. What are your biggest flaws?


One of the most used interview questions for a good reason—it allows you to rapidly discover a lot about a prospect. From this query, you may infer three things:


  • Whether the applicant's shortcomings would conflict with the demands of the position or prevent them from performing well in it.


  • Whether the candidate is self-aware enough to recognize their shortcomings without having to stop and consider.


  • How a candidate is attempting to correct their flaws.


6. What are your best qualities?


When a candidate discusses their strengths, it demonstrates their level of self-awareness and humility, much like when they address their faults. This interview question also allows the candidate the chance to explain how their best traits fit the requirements of the position and even give an example of how they will employ their advantages to aid the business in achieving its objectives.


7. Describe a challenging work situation and how you handled it.


Everyone has encountered difficult situations at work, and frequently it is during these times that professionals develop the most. This is one of the finest interview questions to ask since it enables the applicant to explain how they function under pressure, as well as to talk about their capacity for problem-solving and stress management.


8. What motivated you to leave your present position?


Pay close attention to the candidate's response when you ask them about their prior employment. Do they err more on the optimistic side by emphasizing their hopes for the future, or are they more focused on the bad aspects? Respect for one's former employer and place of employment during an interview is a sign of politeness and professionalism, two qualities that are crucial in any position.


9. Describe a time when you had to handle an especially large task. What were your tactics?


One of the best interview questions is this one since it indicates a candidate's organizational and time management skills as well as their approach to challenging circumstances, like an increase in workload. Examine the candidate's ability to prioritize a long list of tasks, adjust to unexpected situations, and collaborate with others to complete the task at hand.


10. Share an instance when you had to collaborate with a person whose personality or working style was significantly dissimilar to your own.


Nearly every job requires some degree of interpersonal cooperation. This question offers the applicant the option to demonstrate their ability to work in a team, interact with others, and solve problems, as well as how they compromise, communicate, and collaborate to complete a task or goal. You may gain a greater understanding of their character and management style as a result.


11. What are your long-term professional objectives?


You may gauge how ambitious, goal-oriented, and diligent an applicant is by asking them about their long-term career ambitions. Look for professional objectives that coincide with the values, mission, and/or goals of your organization. This query can also show the candidate's anticipated length of employment with your business. It might not be the ideal fit, for instance, if their long-term professional ambitions cannot be met by working at your business.


12. How do you hope to advance in the upcoming year?


What candidates want to achieve in their careers is one of the best things interviewers may ask. A candidate can concentrate on strengthening a weakness, enhancing a strength, or learning a new skill that will benefit their career. Above all, this query can reveal a candidate's readiness to make an investment in their own development.


13. Offer to sell me this.


Although the challenge "Sell me this [thing]" is typically used in interviews for sales and marketing positions, it may be used for any position. Examine a candidate's ability to respond under pressure, as well as their inventiveness, problem-solving abilities, and verbal communication skills, while interviewing them for non-sales professions. This question can reveal a bit about the sales process of potential sales candidates.


14. How many jelly beans can you pack in a suitcase?


It is not necessary to provide an accurate response to this hypothetical interview question. Instead, it gives applicants a chance to show off how they think. Pay attention to the candidate's approach to the challenge. Do they enquire about anything else? Do they divide the issue into smaller parts? To witness their problem-solving abilities in action, ask them to ponder aloud.




During a job interview, you may determine not just whether a candidate is qualified but also whether other employees would appreciate working with them. By using these inquiries, you can more accurately evaluate a candidate's skill set and personality attributes, two of the most crucial aspects to take into account when selecting a new job.


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